March 8, 2009

About Jenifer Fox

Jenifer Fox, author of Your Child's Strengths: Discover Them, Develop Them, Use Them will speak at Grace-St. Luke's Episcopal School on Tuesday, March 31 at 7:00 p.m. in the church sanctuary on the corner of Peabody and Belvedere. Jenifer Fox was the President of Purnell School, an independent, girls boarding high school in New Jersey until this fall when she became the full-time director of The Strengths Movement. Passionately written, Your Child's Strengths proposes a strengths-based philosophy that provides the tools to prepare kids for their future in a world that demands greater adaptability and creative thinking than ever before. Fox draws on both her research and her experience as Head of School to show parents and teachers how to identify a child's strength based on their actions, how to encourage those strengths once you have identified them, and how to help kids implement the strengths they reveal. Fox's strengths curriculum, The Affinities Program, grows out of a belief that building on students' strengths is the best way to help them grow into the people they were meant to become. The program provides specific and engaging exercises and activities to help young people discover their strengths and use them to carve out a path toward a meaningful future.

Jenifer Fox wrote and implemented The Affinities Program, the first four year strengths-based high school curriculum, at Purnell School. The Affinities Program won a Leading Edge Award in 2004 from the National Association of Independent Schools. In 2007, Jenifer Fox, the Purnell School and The Affinities Program were featured in PBS Special "Go Put Your Strengths to Work" with Marcus Buckingham. Fox, Buckingham and Purnell School were featured on The Today Show in April, 2007. Fox earned a B.S. in Communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, an M.A. in English from Middlebury College and an M. Ed. in School Administration from Harvard University.

Grace-St. Luke's is excited to host Jenifer Fox because her perspective that education should focus on developing each child's strengths and abilities to their fullest potential is a long held belief and school practice. Teachers and school staff are leading the way at Grace-St. Luke's focus on strengths awareness and self understanding by assessing each of their strengths using Tom Rath's book, Strengths 2.0, determining their individual learning styles, which correlate to teaching styles, and by engaging in a multiple day school workshop on Myers-Briggs personality types and conscious communication. Being dedicated to educating children for their future, not our pasts, is driving Grace-St. Luke's initiative to align is programming, organizational learning, and curricular emphasis with the demands of the 21st century culture and marketplace.

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